Under the influence of the Friends and the growing danger from Russia, four North American states, Canada, the Atlantic Republic, the Mississippi Republic, and the Pacific Republic, were once more unified. North America became once more a great, though not the greatest, power. For a while, moreover, it looked as though North America would become the model community, destined to save mankind by example and by leadership. Here at last, it seemed, was the true though inarticulate and undoctrinal faith in the spirit. Here was the true liberalism of self-disciplined free citizens, the true communism of mutually respecting individuals. Rumour of this new happy society began to spread even in conquered Europe in spite of the Russian imperial censorship, and to hearten the many secret opponents of the dictatorship. Between the new North America and the new India there was close contact and interchange of ideas. From the Indian wisdom the Friends learned much, and they gave in return much American practical skill.
Bond hated these periods of vacuum. His eyes, his mind, were barely in focus as he turned the pages of a jaw-breaking dissertation by the Scientific Research Station on the Russian use of cyanide gas, propelled by the cheapest bulb-handled children's water pistol, for assassination. The spray, it seemed, directed at the face, took instantaneous effect. It was recommended for victims from 25 years upwards, on ascending stairways or inclines. The verdict would then probably be heart-failure.
'You are quite changed?' said Mr. Creakle.
"One day that wart on his thumb will catch him out." The red wart on the first joint holding back the hammer of the gun over Tingaling Bell. And Tiffany saying, "They're screwy. The fat man's sucking his thumb!" And the two men in the Smoking Room cashing in on the death that had been arranged. The woman overboard. The alarm given anonymously in case the stern watch missed her. The ship stopped, turning, searching. And three thousand pounds extra to the killers.
It was a statement of fact. He had the control and the mouth of his gun had said he should have it.
One striking aspect of culture was a vast development of the technique of personal intercourse. Language blossomed into a great forest of terms for all the new subtleties of emotion and intuition, and all the types and shades of personality. The citizen of the new world could by the use of this rich linguistic symbolism become intimately aware of a stranger’s personality in an hour. There was also a subtle ideography of psychological and spiritual phenomena. By the careful drawing of a number of Chinese-looking symbols an artist who was something between a novelist and an abstract painter could present the essential form of the intercourse of several human beings from birth to death. In comparison with these ideograms, verbal language, though so greatly improved, was a cumbersome medium. A single meticulously inscribed page could convey a whole biography. Thus arose a new visual art, which, by means of highly abstract signs charged with the emotional and intellectual experience of the race, obtained the far-reaching effect of great poetry.
Bond followed him through the restaurant door and then through another door to the right that opened into a lobby, one of whose walls was taken up with the glasses and plates of a buffet. Beyond this was another door. Scaramanga led the way through into what would one day perhaps be a card room or writing room. Now there was nothing but a round table in the centre of a wine-red carpet and seven white leatherette armchairs with scratchpads and pencils in front of them. The chair facing the door, presumably Scaramanga's, had a white telephone in front of it.